Strong Girls = Strong Women

It’s true. Something happens to girls when they hit puberty. I’m not talking about the obvious here, I’m talking about what happens to our confidence, fierceness, strength, self-reliance and “damn I’m good, and boys can go suck it” mindset. I remember that girl. I remember in 5th grade, going to a whole new school and one by one, destroying the line of boys who wanted to arm wrestle me at the high school football game. Though very small in stature, I was a gymnast. I was super-power strong and they were little 5th grade boys. My mom loved to tell the story of how she sat up high in the stands with the new set of parents and watched me beat them, one after another. She struggled with amusement, pride, amazement at my unbridled girl power and a little bit of sympathy-embarrassment for the boys. She told that story many times throughout my life. To this day, I smile when I picture that scene. It somehow fills me with spice, and a hint of innocent strength. A feeling of power and self confidence. Self love shouldn’t just be for the young. That girl, that small and mighty, red-headed warrior is still stirring around inside.

With a mom like mine, it was hard to live in self-doubt for long. She was a great example. The best rebellion; Love YourselfShe ran a ranch! I watched her do amazing things all my life. I helped her work cows, give shots, and pull baby calves when the cow needed help. It was dirty, hard and sometimes very gross work. She fixed fences, hauled hay and learned to repair mechanical things. She was also a lady; she was college educated and was even involved with the Junior League. She was pure class. We miss her so much. My dad was a lucky man, but I was the luckiest. I thank God that I was given the chance to be that girl. I’m thankful that I still feel this way most of the time. Lucky.

Let’s go have a mud fight.
Play.
Be fierce. Be rebellious.

 

** Note** The original post had a great video about little girls being fierce… the video is no longer available.

 

 

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Be Rebellious

The best rebellion; Love Yourself

This quote has been bouncing around my feed for some time. I really love it. I decided to make it pretty so I could remind myself to be rebellious. Every. Single. Day! It’s easy to let the doubt creep in. You are lovely, so own it.

Share this message. Pin it! Facebook it! Tweet it. Right now, this world needs us to love ourselves. Only then, can we truly love each other.

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This Campaign of Kindness… Rocks!

Who hasn’t experienced bullying in some form in their lives? Girls, in particular tend to go through that “mean girl” phase in middle school, and sometimes, never leave it. I experienced that middle school, mean girl trauma first hand. Honestly, it was devastating at the time. I still carry that ordeal around with me even though it was almost 40 years ago. You don’t forget things like that. I was lucky, and was able to muddle through, mostly because I was blessed with a sunny disposition and a family that loved me. This video by Kleenex deserves to be seen. It needs to be shared. Let this warm your heart. Let this make you feel a healthy dose of gratitude that these two women are out there spreading kindness and encouraging our young women to address the issues of female to female bullying.

Watching the girls embrace the message just makes me feel happy inside. We need more kindness in this world. Our young women need more positive reinforcement, more strong messages that it’s good and right to be strong, female and proud of who you are. It’s good to spread kindness to others. It’s good to see a wrong, and do your best to help right it.

We live in an age of consumerism, of Photoshop and mixed messages that constantly tellkindness matters us who to be, how to look, what to buy and who to like; they tell us we don’t matter. My answer is, “Oh no you didn’t!” We all matter, and we are all capable of making this world better. Let’s open our eyes, hearts and ears to the people around us. Look for small places to make a difference. A small difference is a difference!

Thoughts?

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Kindness Goes Viral

My mom once told me, “Just be kind to people. That’s the most important thing to be.” I have to admit, I probably rolled my eyes, but those words burrowed straight in to my center. That’s my deepest wish, too. When I’m gone, I want people to say, “She was a kind person; she had a kind soul.” That would give my memory honor. I’ve tried to teach my boys the same. When I catch them doing something extraordinarily kind, I feel like my mom’s legacy lives on.

compassionate kidThis young man, has gotten a lot of press for a kind act. Most of us, myself included, feel a bit uncomfortable around people with special needs. I think that mostly that comes from the feeling of social unpredictability innate to people with disabilities, especially when they’re strangers. Most of us live within a specific set of guidelines of social interaction, and people with special needs often break those barriers. Mostly, for the better!

Evidently, on a crowded bus somewhere in Canada, a special needs man walked up to this student, reached out to shake his hand, then wouldn’t let go. He seemed scared and agitated, so the young man just sat and comforted him. A fellow bus rider, snapped a photo and said that it made him feel good to see kindness for a stranger. Evidently, students tend to get a bad rap, I think that’s true most places, and he posted it on Facebook. It went viral. Now, the transit company is rewarding the student with a couple of checks worth $2,000.

Good news is the best news. It’s so hard to even watch the news at night. Wouldn’t it be great if our networks spent a larger portion of time reporting the good stuff? Maybe we should start a revolution, or maybe you should just visit http://www.fridayforgood.com more often (big grin). That’s what I’m about. I’m just gonna keep on pumping out the good stuff. Thank you for reading and sharing!

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Happiness: In 100 Words Or Less

I think I could write a million words on things that make me happy! There are so many things, places, people, images, art, music… wow. So, I happened upon a post by Alyssa Racquel today. She had posted a challenge to describe the word Happiness in 100 words or less. Challenge accepted. Pass it on. preparingtoride

Happiness

Outside
T-Shirt weather
Fluttering leaves.
Speckled Shade
Exploring. Adventuring.
Strong, rugged, sweaty,
Feeling alive. Full.
Free.
Mountain bike tires making crunching noises,
Lover’s back wheel visible ahead.
Quads on fire.
Lungs burning.
Fast. Flying.
Hint of Danger
Smell of wood, wet, leaves
Spice
Growth
Wind in my face
Heart on the wing
Connected
Nature’s song
Soul’s music
Singing aloud
Heart strong
Head Clear
Eyes dancing
Stopping
His grin
The lean
Lips
Electricity Unleashed

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50 Before 50

A decade ago, I had a blast doing my 40th birthday challenge. I may not have accomplished everything I set out to do, but it was a blast! A couple of weeks or so ago, I turned the ripe old age of 49. Now, I’m aiming to do 50 new things before I’m 50. I’ll be celebrating 50 new experiences that I’ve never had, no matter what they are, if they’re new and different, well, I’m gonna celebrate. The great thing about life is that you never run out of new things to try, to experience and to do! There’s no excuse to get stuck in a rut. I’ve no room for ruts, no time for that! Life is short. Here we go!

Last night, I asked my friend Sam to name a cool place I might not have been before. He immediately said, “Have you been to the Skylark?” Nope! My hubs and I met him at Contigo, a really cool restaurant in East Austin before we headed out to the Skylark Lounge! As soon as we walked in, I began to wonder why… why had we not been here before? The blues were sweaty and rockin’ and Birdlegg and the Tight Fit Blues Band was in the house! Birdlegg was a joy to watch. He could sing the blues and he worked the whole bar. The owner of the bar was employing the flashlight technique, you know a big old hand-held, plastic flashlight as a spotlight to try to keep up with him as he worked the entire length of  “shotgun” style bar singing, dancing and absolutely wailing on the harmonica. Wow! So amazing! So entertaining!

Here’s my 1st 50 before 50! Me getting a lap dance from Birdlegg the blues man!

Maybe this is number 1 and 2? Skylark Lounge, first lap dance... or maybe not. :-)

Maybe this is number 1 and 2? Skylark Lounge, first lap dance… or maybe not. 🙂

I’ve got a few specific items to try too.

  1. Learn 5 songs on the guitar
  2. Spend 50 nights away from home
  3. Hit my goal body fat percentage
  4. Do the BC Bike Race
  5. Write 50 Blog Posts…

And, there are more. Celebrate wherever you are in life. Do a 32 things before you turn 32! It’s fun and it’s a good reminder to enjoy every minute. And if you can’t enjoy every minute, find something that you’ve never done before. Recognize it. Give it the awe it deserves. Have fun and be good!

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Lisa Beth: The Face of ALS

The ALS Association just released the news that the Ice Bucket Challenge has led to significant breakthroughs in the research for the disease. I remember flinching as if I’d been physically punched when I’d hear someone say something derogatory about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Most of those flippant remarks probably weren’t meant to be nasty, but they were personal to me. I lost my best, oldest friend at the ripe young age of 45. She left a 10 year old son. She left her family. And me. When I say lifelong, I mean, when I was brought home from the hospital, we ended up in the crib together. They lived two houses down. We grew up together. We were closer than sisters. She’s my face of ALS.

My Lisa. This beautiful girl. ALS took her.

My Lisa. This beautiful girl. ALS took her.

According to the ALS Association, in 2014, there were more than 17 Million Ice Bucket Challenge videos posted to Facebook alone. They were watched over 10 billion times. Ten Billion! When you think about it, many people had never even heard of ALS before last year. Had you? Now, we hope, that most people have at least heard about it.

When Lisa called me, from the opposite side of the country, to tell me she’d been diagnosed with the disease, my brain wouldn’t function. I just could not comprehend. In fact, I think I told her that I’d have to call her back because I had to go look it up. When I did, I was completely devastated. There was no cure! I knew that it would most likely kill her within five years. Five years? What? How could that possibly be true? We didn’t know how long she’d actually had it because she’d been misdiagnosed, so we just didn’t know.

Her family did everything they could. They spent lots of money taking her on bucket list trips and paying for experimental treatments. I still just couldn’t wrap my head around it. When her brother, who is also my older brother’s dear friend, called to tell me to come say goodbye because we didn’t know how long she’d be conscious, I just felt helpless… wrecked. They explained that she could hear me perfectly, that her mind was just fine inside a body that couldn’t move. She was trapped. My goodbye was not a good one. When her brother told me that she would die because her diaphragm muscles would just stop and she would suffocate, I just didn’t think I could bear it. I regret so deeply that I sucked at saying goodbye. I just held her hand and told her she was my best friend and always would be. I, who is never at a loss for words, just couldn’t find any. The lump in my throat, the rock in my chest, I couldn’t speak around them. I was so afraid to upset her. I was afraid that if she cried, we’d lose her on the spot. I couldn’t stand to see her like that. I drove the four hours home, just aching. And crying for us both.

We lost her a few days before we lost my mom. I know she wasn’t conscious when she died, which brings a little comfort. I know her family was there, and that I was not. I was doing vigil with my mom in the hospital. When we got word that she had died, my brother and I were going to fly up for her funeral. But then, our mom suffered a severe stroke and it was touch and go. We couldn’t leave. Her family understood, but missing her funeral was so difficult. A few days later, her brother sat with my family as my mom drew her last breaths. Our families were that close. Lisa was in my heart, I felt her presence and I drew comfort thinking about them holding hands and moving on together.

ALS is a brutal, terrifying disease. Ruthless. Last year, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised over $220 million for research that has already provided some exciting breakthroughs. So, please, consider pouring some ice water on your head, or those of your friends and family and most importantly making a donation to the ALS Association. Or just make a donation; you don’t even have to get wet! (or move from your computer!!) Even a small donation can help. Do it for Lisa Beth. For me and for the future of your loved ones. We need a cure. Nobody should die that way. Nobody.

Lisa loved little children, animals and her friends. A more kind and gentle soul I’ve never known. I celebrate our friendship! Her memory brings me joy and comfort! Celebrate and enjoy your day. Count your blessings. There are so many beautiful and good things to be thankful for. I’m thankful that I had a beautiful lifelong friend! I’m thankful that she lives on in her amazing son and in the hearts and memories of those who love her. Hug your friends, your family and be good. Do good.

You can follow ALSA on Twitter. Go learn more on their website. Donate here. Together we can #challengeALS.

Posted in ALS, Death, Donation, Friendship, giving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments